Sometimes the cat’s meow…really isn’t. Hearing a friendly little chirrup from your kitty can be a sweet welcoming sound when you come home from work, but constant crying can be a cause for concern. So, what do you do when your cat won’t stop meowing?
We did the research for you to help you determine what may be causing your cat to be a Chatty Kathy and what you can do to solve the issue. Read on to find out what we discovered!
Why Does a Cat Meow?
Cats communicate through body language and vocalizations. Meowing is one of the ways our cats try to talk to us. Adult cats meow only at humans because it’s the best way to let us know what they’re feeling.
Though kittens may meow for their mothers when they’re young, they learn to communicate with each other through a nonverbal “cat language” as they age. This language involves subtle body language, facial expressions, and scents.
Cats figured out that humans aren’t as good at understanding this silent language, so they have adapted to communicate in a way we can understand — meowing. Meowing is a way to say “hello!” or to get your attention because they are:
Is It Bad if My Cat is Meowing?
It’s not necessarily a bad thing if your cat meows a lot. Some cats are very vocal and like “talking” to you. Sometimes, however, it means they are asking for something and will keep asking until they get what they want.
Did you miss dinnertime? Are you ignoring them to watch your favorite Netflix show? Is it late, but you’re still up, and they want to go to bed? Don’t worry; your cat is going to let you know they find this unacceptable!
Of course, there are times when meowing is for more urgent issues, like if your cat is sick or injured. However, other signs accompanying the meowing will make it obvious something is wrong in these cases.
Some cat breeds are louder than others. Persians, Russian Blues, Chartreux, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Maine Coons are among the quieter cat breeds. Some of the loudest are the Sphinx, Siamese, Burmese, and Bengal breeds.
Of course, this is all dependent on a cat’s personality and demeanor, but genetics can play a huge part in how much they meow. But any cat can be noisy depending on its needs and what takes place in its environment.
What Does it Mean if My Cat Won’t Stop Meowing?
While meowing is a normal way to communicate with us, excessive or increased meowing out of the ordinary isn’t something to dismiss.
If you give your cat a lot of attention and pets when they nag at you with meowing, you may be reinforcing that bad habit. By petting cats when they meow, we teach them that meowing will get attention, which means they will do it a lot more!
When is Excessive Meowing Normal?
Female cats meow a lot when they are in heat to attract a mate. Male cats also become vocal when they detect a nearby female cat in heat. If your cat is not spayed or neutered, they could be meowing for this purpose.
What Should I Do if My Cat Won’t Stop Meowing?
Don’t panic! Figuring out what your cat needs is key. If you’ve always had a talkative pet, then there might be no cause for concern. If they are usually quiet, or their cries sound different than usual, it may be time to investigate. Knowing your cat’s personality and routine can help you narrow down what is amiss.
Fulfill Their Basic Needs
Whenever your cat’s basic needs have been neglected, they won’t hesitate to ask for your services. Is your cat’s water bowl running low? Did you feed them yet? If not, it may be time to refill those dishes! Finicky cats fed at the same time every day will expect you to follow that regime, so if you’re running a little late, your kitty may be tired of waiting!
Other things like a full litter box or a cold room may also be making your cat uncomfortable. Anything that prevents them from getting their necessities taken care of will result in protest. And if you fail to take care of them for too long, your cat may become frustrated or stressed out.
Asking for Affection or Attention
If your cat is in the mood to play or be petted, they might ask you for a little quality time together. All pets need love and affection. Cats express their love through purring, meowing, blinking slowly, and bunting (rubbing their head or cheeks on you). Though you can’t do these same things in return, there are a few ways to show them you love them back.
Rubbing against your legs, headbutting, grooming you, or rolling over while meowing can suggest your pet wants some love! Petting, playing, and talking to your cat can help them feel a little less ignored.
A Stressful Environment
Changes in a cat’s environment can cause a lot of stress. Even something as simple as moving your cat’s food bowls or bed can upset them. For this reason, cats will often meow to tell you they’re unhappy about what you’ve done! Sometimes your cat needs time to adjust to the newness (like becoming familiar with a new pet, for instance), and gently helping them adapt can reduce their stress.
It’s hard to communicate that you don’t feel well to someone who doesn’t speak your language. Cats can meow when they are sick or injured to alert you that they are under the weather.
Cats with an overactive thyroid, kidney disease, or hypertension can cause excessive vocalizations. If you know or think your cat might have one of these problems, it is vital to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Meowing that changes suddenly in pitch or tone or becomes louder or more frequently can be a strong indicator for medical issues.
Elderly cats or those with recent head injuries can suffer from cognitive dysfunction or mental confusion. As cats age, they can become senile, deaf, or blind, which can confuse them. A cat with a cranial injury can become disoriented and confused as well. If they become distressed for this reason, they will meow for help.
When to Ignore Your Cat’s Meowing
If the meowing stems from a non-urgent or medical issue, you may have reinforced their meowing through accidental training and positive reinforcement. When your cat meows at you until you give them what they want, they learn to repeat the behavior to get what they want.
Instead of giving your cat what they want immediately, wait until they calm down so that they learn you are aware of their needs but that you won’t help until they are quiet. This will break the habit and re-train your kitty’s behavior.
Never yell or give other forms of punishment like spraying with water to correct your cat’s excessive meowing. Besides being abusive or traumatic, this can also reinforce their behavior by giving them attention (albeit negative attention) which can exacerbate the meowing and cause other behavioral issues.
How to Calm a Cat That Won’t Stop Meowing
You can try some easy tricks at home to fix incessant meowing from a grumpy or bored cat. Sometimes the best solution is the easiest or most obvious!
Upsetting changes can be tough to work through. Comforting your cat through soothing talk, petting, or cuddling might do the trick. However, not every pet appreciates being touched when they’re distressed, and in that case, you may want to consider accommodating them in other ways.
Providing a dark, warm space to hide can also help cats feel more safe and secure. A little time alone can do a lot of good for a frightened or stressed-out cat.
Catnip or Calming Treats
A lot of meowing is caused by your cat feeling uncomfortable. Fortunately, discomfort can be helped with a few fun treats. Cat treats with calming ingredients such as those found in Holistapet’s Calming Cat Chews also help your pet relax! The CBD in the chews is effective at quelling nervousness or hyperactivity and comes in a yummy salmon flavor your cat won’t be able to resist.
For bored cats, spraying a few spritzes of Holistapet’s Catnip Spray with CBD onto a favorite toy or scratching post can up the fun at playtime. The smell of catnip causes an effect that triggers the “happy” receptors in a cat’s brain and can help them feel a little more comfortable in their environment. With the added effect of CBD, an edgy cat can become mellow in seconds.
But don’t be fooled! Cat’s are very smart, and if you begin to notice the only way to appease them is with a treat, they may cry as a ploy for more. Don’t fall into these traps; too many treats (whether your cat thinks so or not) can be bad for their health. Indulge in moderation and find alternative ways to quiet your cat’s protests.
Spaying or Neutering
Cats that can breed are noisier than those that can’t. If you find your cat is meowing a lot when they are in heat or looking to breed, the solution may be to get them spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering your pet can also be useful in other ways, like preventing unwanted litter that contributes to overcrowding in animal shelters. They can also prevent serious medical conditions like uterine infections and prostate issues in males.
When to Be Concerned If Your Cat Won’t Stop Meowing
When any of the following symptoms accompany your cat’s meowing, it’s time to go to the vet:
- Change in gait
- Weight loss
- Refusal to eat
Any of your cat’s behaviors that suddenly change for no apparent reason should always be looked into. Listen to your cat when they try to get your attention!
Final Thoughts – Cat Won’t Stop Meowing
Nobody knows your cat better than you do. A sudden change in their behavior, like constant meowing, is the first sign that your cat is trying to let you know they find something disagreeable. Soothing your cat with loving head pats or treats can help when they feel lonely or stressed.
While not all excessive meowing is a cause for concern, sometimes the issue requires a veterinarian’s intervention. Seek out the advice of a professional after you’ve done your best to figure out the problem. This is the best way to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it!